Every year American Theatre receives listings from theatres around the country, telling us what they’re producing next season. This year, we received 387 season announcements, which totaled 2,280 entries. From those raw numbers, we crunched them to tally the Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and the Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of the 2018-19 season.
HOW DID WE DO IT? All seasons are self-reported by TCG member theatres (which number 531 at press time). To tally only full productions, we sifted out readings, workshops, and shows with less than a week onstage. And as usual we exclude A Christmas Carol and plays by Shakespeare, to make more room on our list for everyone and everything else.
Below, we present the most-produced plays of the upcoming season.
TOP 10* MOST-PRODUCED PLAYS OF 2018-19
- A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath: 27
- Sweat by Lynn Nottage: 16
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon: 13
- Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon: 13*
- The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe: 13
- Fun Home, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel: 12
- Indecent by Paula Vogel: 12
- Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías: 12
- Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau: 11
- Once, book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, based on the film by John Carney: 9
- Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen: 9
*Actually 11 due to a tie
Odds and Ends:
- A Christmas Carol, in all its various adaptations, will be playing at 40 theatres this season.
- This year’s 11 most-produced plays include work by 9 female playwrights (and 2 female composers) opposite 3 male playwrights, a historic margin for this list, while the 20 most-produced playwrights comprises 11 women and 9 men. What’s more, there are 6 playwrights of color on the playwrights list, the most diverse it’s ever been.
- In addition to the full-length productions of Sweat, the Public Theater of New York City is producing an 18-stop Midwestern tour of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning portrait of small-town discontent. As those performances are one-night-only engagements at various local community centers, they didn’t make our listings.
- Returning from last year’s Top 10 list are: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Fun Home, Skeleton Crew, and a new holiday favorite Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. (And Austinites rejoice: Kate Hamill was on the list last year with another Jane Austen adaptation: Sense and Sensibility).
Note: An earlier version of this list, and the one our October print issue, misranked a few titles.
Edited to add: We hosted a live event to celebrate our Top 10/Top 20 lists, which featured interviews with playwright Lucas Hnath and Karen Zacarias. Listen or watch the event below.